Here’s my latest rap effort. I call it IPmatic. No, it’s not my remix of the first Nas album, though it’s a nod to it’s greatness and 10 track format. This is my return to the roots and essence of Stan Ipcus rap music, complete with original production from me and my closest homeboys, and remakes of some of my favorite songs from when I was coming up in the 90’s. Thanks to my boy Will Merchan from White Plains for designing the IPmatic cover. That’s me in my White Plains Capitals baseball days, and the WP skyline below. Here’s my track by track breakdown…
1. “Stir It Up”- I have this stash of A Tribe Called Quest beats in my collection of instrumentals, so when it was time to find an intro for this project, I went fishing through them. This seemed perfect. It’s the first song on Midnight Marauders, and everytime I hear it I am instantly transported back to my freshman year of high school. And that’s the feeling I wanted to grab on to right off the bat, to put myself and the listener into that zone. Back to the basics. I came with that real simple, old school, laidback flow, just really almost talking on the beat, to introduce what’s to come. I made it specifically to be an intro for this project.
2. “Ippy Strut (Revisited)”- Anyone who’s been with me since the early days knows that the “Ippy Strut” was the first song after the intro on my first disc. Last year, my boy Bats was encouraging me to revisit some of my old beats and styles and add some new shit to them. So that’s what I did. And I added a different Meters beat to the second verse, “Cardova”, to give it a little change up. I love how this came out. A fun one to get things rolling, and a return to the true Ipcus roots for those listeners who have been with me since day one. A new beginning if you will.
3. “Nothing U Can Do”- My young boy Kaliph produced this. He’s 16, and makes fire beats, all with soul samples and stuff like that. We have the same taste in rap music. I’ve been feeding him old KRS-One and Nas and Biggie for a couple years now, and he loves all that shit. He’s been producing for about a year now for real, and has only had his own equipment for about 6 months, but his beats are extra dope. I gave him this Aaron Neville sample, and he flipped it into a straight concept record. I was so excited when I heard it, I wrote the whole song that night. He brought me back to life, and inspired me to want to put a new project out. I was pretty much done until I heard this beat. As for the concept, well it’s basically saying, there’s nothing you can do to be as ill as us. Nothing. Try whatever, do whatever, it’s just not gonna happen.
4. “Druss Park”- Oooooh! This is my favorite shit on the whole project. Another Kaliph beat. This joint is for the summer, and for all my fam. It’s smooth and hard, and I love my flow and voice on this. When I was recording the vocals, it gave me that feeling where I was just inside the beat. I like the hook on this too. Like I said, this is my favorite track on here. Sounds like some old shit I recorded onto a cassette back in the days. Shouts to Kaliph for lacing me. I owe you one for this. Oh, and Druss Park is right up the street from where I grew up on Ogden Avenue, in the heart of WP.
5. “So Wassup”- This one’s for Guru, RIP. One of my favorite rappers of all time. Crazy to see your idols pass away. Makes you realize how immortal you become though when you record music. This beat was a B-side from “You Know My Steez”, and I had a freestyle to this back in college where I’m talking about basketball. I always loved this beat, it’s so hard. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I was going back and forth with my boy K-Wet on some bars over email. See, he’s been out in Cali since Thanksgiving, so we send each other flows on this little fam email list to keep our swords sharp and crack each other up during the day. Well, I wrote these two verses one morning really early, like a week before my son was born. I was all fired up and anxious and so I just started pumping out raps. I think I wrote and recorded half of IPmatic that week. Anyway, after I sent those verses, I looked back and thought they would make a hot song. So I reached for the Gangstarr beat, chopped up the Guru vocals a bit to make a hook, and boom. This is me just going in hard on some everyday shit. And I said “I’m no spring chicken but I was born in May, it’s lookin’ like my son’s bday may be the same day”, and he was born on my birthday a week later. Fall back.
6. “Slow Ya Roll”- Honestly, we just laid this down last week, it’s the last track I recorded for this project. Kaliph gave me this beat on Thursday, and I wrote the song Thursday night, and we got up early on Friday afternoon and put it down. Cats were bugging out when we were recording this, including me, because that shit was just sounding crazy! I don’t usually flow like that, you know? Kaliph did his thing with this beat. The next shit I put out will most likely be entirely produced by Kaliph. That’s my dude right now. We’re in sync with this hip hop shit. I’m just gonna keep feeding him shit to sample, and I know he’s gonna keep hitting me in the head with crack. And he’s working on his own album too, featuring me and lots of other young local artists. That’s gonna be something to watch for. He’s already got a bunch of tracks done.
7. “8 Steps To Perfection”- This is over that old Company Flow beat. Love that album. Those dudes were so nasty with it. I’m spitting some fat bars on this one. For real, I’m proud of my raps on this project. Not that I ever slack, but on some of these songs I’m just spitting lyrics, and I hope you can appreciate that. It’s all new styles, but they feel so damn vintage over these beats and that’s what I love. Shouts to Peter Rosenberg at Hot 97, he played this on his show one night and kept bringing it back for NYC. Crazy!
8. “Suburban Nightmares”- My boy Bless in Maryland, who was a fellow New Yorker that I went to school with down there and ended up staying in the area, gave me this beat like two years ago. I loved it always, but never knew what to do with it. It needed something really ill and dark. This is another one I wrote and recorded the week before my son was born. It’s a story song, reminds me of one of those crazy Raekwon and Ghostface stories where they’re up in their hotel room and dudes start shooting and shit. That’s what inspired this, listening to some old songs of theirs. Follow the story, it’s pretty wild. I call it “Suburban Nightmares” because obviously this would never happen in my real life, but everyone has crazy dreams with guns and violence once in a while. And don’t sleep, crazy shit like this happens in the suburbs all the time.
9. “Plug Me In”- Max Bee is my brother, and just like Bless, we’ve been making music together for years but don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like. He’s down in Baltimore, I’m here in New York. But every once in a while, I’ll get a beat in my email from him. And this one I fell in love with. It’s got synths and kind of that double time style, but it feels organic. I don’t usually get sing-songy on hooks, but I gave it a shot with this, and tested out the old quick flow. I think it came out kinda nice. It’s different. And I really wanted to have a Max Bee song on here. Plus, the message in the song is so relevant to this time period in my rap career. It’s basically saying that no matter where life takes me as I get older, I’m always going to have that urge to plug the mic in and rap. It’s part of me. And I know Max feels the same way about making music, and that’s why we connect as such good friends and collaborators. When I sent him the vocals, he said “I’ve been feeling the same way”. This is some 2010 shit, straight from the earth though. Peep the second verse, I especially like it. “2010 get it in with the new sound, tried to retire but I can’t help but get down…”
10. “The Life and Times of Stan”- I don’t remember how it happened, but one day I just started writing my life story to the “Passing Me By” instrumental. Thought I’d finish up with this one. Brought that laidback, old school flow on this beat too, and basically rapped alot about what life used to be like growing up and where I’m at now in terms of becoming a father. Time keeps on passing me by. I’m all grows up, but I have no regrets, and some great memories. And best of all, now I have a family. Love the artwork for this that my boy Dave Roy did. Peep it above. I released this a couple months ago, but re-did the vocals for the final version.
Also, RIP to WWW.STANIP.COM. Sad to see it go, but it was outdated and too hard to update. But I’ve got a new official website. Check it out!!!!
Enjoy IPmatic. Hollerrr at your boy…